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Adjaye Associates unveils Abraham family residence in Abu Dhabi

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Abraham Family House, Interfaith Complex by Architects David Adjaye contains a churchA synagogue and a mosqueopen at Abu Dhabi.

lie in saadiyat i. – Cultural center located off the coast Abu Dhabi – The project consists of three separate chapels for three people abrahamic religion Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

Abraham Family Home
Abraham Family House is an interfaith complex in Abu Dhabi

The Abrahamic Family House consists of three separate flat-roofed cubic buildings, each of equal volume but with distinct characteristics, including courtyards of varying sizes.

“The architectural expression of each building is unique and specific to its siting and religious references,” said the architect, who founded the eponymous firm Adjaye Association 2000.

St. Francis Church
The façade of St. Francis Church is a towering column

The church of St. Francis is characterized by a façade composed of towering Omani limestone columns arranged from east to west to enhance the morning sun inside, embodying the light as a symbol of Christian divinity.

Inside, a cluster of linear timber slats hangs from the ceiling. According to the architecture studio, the designs are intended to evoke the concept of “ecstatic rain of salvation”. Light filters through the octagonal baptistery.

Other design elements within the chapel include geometric pews made from traditional hard-wearing oak and a deliberately minimal central cross, designed to welcome worshipers from all denominations.

a “shower” of wooden beams defines the interior of the church

Moses Ben Maimon Synagogue facing the holy city of Jerusalem, the façade consists of three tiers of V-shaped columns inspired by the palm fronds at the festival of Souk – a traditional hut built during the festival of Souk sock.

“The columns on each side of the building have seven points that touch the ground and eight that touch the soffits – seven of which represent the human symbol and eight that represent God above,” explained Adjaye Association.

Moses ben Maimon Synagogue
Moses ben Maimon Synagogue facing Jerusalem

A suspended bronze mesh tent descends from the central skylight inside, echoing the tent-like structure already mentioned on the exterior, as well as the original Tabernacle.

The synagogue’s layout was designed to be “as flexible as possible” to allow for changing seating arrangements depending on the congregation, and includes a traditional mikveh – a bath used for ritual immersion.

Bronze Mesh Tent Inside Abu Dhabi Synagogue, Designed by David Adjaye
a suspended bronze mesh tent inside the synagogue

The Imam Al-Tayeb Mosque is flanked by seven slender arches on each side to pay homage to the significance of the Islamic number seven, and faces towards Mecca.

“The walls are lined with more than 470 delicate lattice panels that are operable, creating mashrabiya The grand scale – this is one of the most admired features of Islamic architecture,” said the architecture firm.

Slender arches on the exterior of Imam Al-Tayeb Mosque
Exterior of Imam Al-Tayeb Mosque with slender arches

The four-column internal grid creates nine rising vaults inside, orienting worshipers towards the mihrab And intended to refer to stability, order and fullness.

Separate external bathing spaces for men and women are constructed in concrete and shaped like inverted pyramids and inverted spheres, respectively.

Arches inside the Abu Dhabi Mosque
Light filter inside a mosque

The three buildings sit on a single-storey plinth that also houses a secular gathering space, a library and exhibition area known as the Forum, and an elevated public garden linking the church, synagogue and mosque.

According to the architecture firm, the plinth references the universal concept of the mound and is intended to bring people closer to something higher and encourage interfaith dialogue.

“I believe that architecture should aim to embody the kind of world we want to live in, a world of acceptance, openness and continuous improvement,” Adjaye said.

“As an architect, I wanted to create a building that began to transcend the notion of hierarchical difference and enhance the richness of human life,” he added.

“Our hope is that through these buildings that celebrate three different religions, people of all faiths and all walks of life can learn about and participate in the mission of peaceful coexistence for future generations.”

Common Gardens at Abrahamic Family House
A public garden connects the three chapels.Photo by Adjaye Associates

Adjaye Associates has studios in Accra, London and New York.the company is Recently included in a list of companies reportedly building The Line megacity in Saudi Arabia.

Saadiyat Island is Louvre Abu Dhabian art gallery designed by Jean Nouvel, opened in 2017.

Other projects planned for the island include Foster + Partners long-awaited Zayed National Museum and architect Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum It is scheduled to open in 2025.

Photography is by Drobaldinger Unless otherwise indicated.

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